EU research connects with Latin America Building on a strong research community in Latin America, the EU stepped up collaboration and dialogue with the region through a dedicated strategic cooperation project. Digital Economy © Shutterstock The European project 'Widening IST networking development support - Latin America' (WINDS-LA) brought together a multinational and multi-stakeholder community of European and Latin American researchers, policy-makers and other research actors to find common areas for collaboration specifically in ICT research. The project helped to gather key issues and actors for cooperation between the two sides. A number of conferences were organised which helped to disseminate information on European research and development (R\;&\;D) to Latin American stakeholders including private industry and civil society. The project, spanning two years and ending in 2008, organised three major research conferences in Latin America, two seminars in Europe and a final conference in Brussels to boost dialogue and cooperation between the regions. WINDS-LA built on existing research communities in Latin America and highlighted the priorities of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). Activities included providing information on European and Latin American research projects, as well as their results and the actors involved. WINDS-LA's collaboration services also provided a platform to put prospective actors together. An open consultation process was achieved which both sides hoped would lead to a consensus-based roadmap for future R\;&\;D collaboration. The consortium behind the project included seven partners from three Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) and three European countries (Belgium, Spain and Germany). The project has produced tangible results, raising the profile of Latin American research partners in the EU. Furthermore, the standing of WINDS-LA as a research 'hub' in Latin America has increased markedly since its launch in 2007. This was best seen from the direct involvement of other countries in the region that were not in the consortium per se, such as Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. The upwards trend of Latin American research actors taking part in FP7-ICT was also largely attributed to the success of WINDS-LA.